An environment of radical trust and empowerment provides a wealth of opportunities for employees to learn, experiment, test, and take ownership of initiatives. This allows growth opportunities and the supportive environment they need to unleash their potential and the confidence to take up challenges, shares Leonard Cheong, Managing Director, AdNovum Singapore & Vietnam. 

Culture at work matters – now more than ever – especially with the COVID-19 pandemic which will change things moving forward. People adopt the attitudes and behaviors of the people around them because they want to fit in.

Company culture is something that remains a constant even when people come and go. 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of AdNovum Singapore and here we share what has attributed to today’s culture. We believe in having happy employees that would lead to happy customers and a profitable business. Step into any offices of AdNovum and it is likely that you will feel a similar sense of camaraderie.

It starts from the office layout - Going beyond cubicles

Your layout of the physical workspace shapes your company culture. A less-structured, open-concept office layout encourages a greater sense of collaboration and teamwork. In Adnovum offices, the layout is open for all employees including executives. Everyone is able to see everything that is going on throughout the office and can easily communicate with others. Our individual open space workstation is also approximately 14% bigger than the average working space.

The reconfiguration to a modernised workplace certainly accommodates the shift in workplace demographics and that foster values like collaboration and creativity that would appeal more to the new generation.

Managing a multi-generational workforce – Integrating the new generation with flexibility in the workplace

Times have certainly changed through the past decade and with each new generation comes new demands and expectations for the workforce. This presents a critical challenge for organisational and HR leaders to reevaluate current practices and policies, in response to new trends and business development efforts from the rapid evolution in technology, digitalisation, and new mobility patterns.

Millennials - the current largest demographic in the workplace - and Gen Z desire flexibility in the workplace as compared to the Baby Boomers and in AdNovum, the median age is 35 years. Such flexibility in the workplace allows employees to maintain a work-life balance and can contribute to increased overall productivity and efficiency.

"Understanding the differences in values will be vital to manage the different backgrounds, attitudes and drive the organisation forward."

In AdNovum, our work schedules are flexible with work-from-home options even prior to COVID-19. We are open and receptive in honoring the diverse ways of contributing to the workplace and acknowledge the efforts of each team member regardless of their work style, as long as results are achieved.

Diversity & inclusion – Creating a sense of belonging

Diversity and inclusion have received heightened attention particularly during the recent years of the decade. Millennials and Gen Z's have indeed played a big role in leading the charge for these cultural transformations woven into the organisation’s DNA.

Businesses with diverse leadership teams achieve better innovation. In AdNovum, diversity and inclusion come in all forms – gender, ethnicity, age, and disabilities. Here, we hire and promote our employees based on merit and capabilities instead of merely experience. It is the responsibility of every employee when it comes to fostering the right environments and it has been inculcated in our employees to adhere to the practice of speaking English in the premises of AdNovum Singapore.

Building a culture of openness and transparency through business processes and decision-making

Leaders can create a culture of trust and openness by making sure they engage employees in transparent business processes and decision making, which makes them feel they are part of the team by keeping them aware of what motivates the decisions of their leaders.

Information is shared and discussed openly in AdNovum Singapore and across all locations through update sessions by the organisational leaders at the end of each month and quarter. Feedbacks through frequent surveys are also executed – with the most recent one on COVID-19 – to understand the needs of employees and how they are coping.

We believe through such information sharing, AdNovum builds trust and credibility with our employees. When people are entrusted with all the necessary information to make business decisions, they are compelled to act responsibly and maintain a culture of accountability.

An environment of trust and empowerment encourages creativity

An environment of radical trust and empowerment provides a wealth of opportunities for employees to learn, experiment, test, and take ownership of initiatives. This allows growth opportunities and the supportive environment they need to unleash their potential and the confidence to take up challenges.

In AdNovum, our solution-oriented engineering culture encourages failure, creativity, and growth and we do not micro-manage. We create the space for that agenda to express itself and often through this, such valuable insights can contribute to long-term business success. Employees would be more likely to think of ways they can step beyond that role and impact the company positively.

Employees work hard with you only when they know the organisation cares for their mental and physical well-being as well as how employees envision their future, goals, overall outlook and attitude. As we reflect on the changes that have taken place over the last 10 years and move forward into a new decade, we aim to not only create better synergy for a more cohesive multi-generational workforce, but make the necessary investments in reskilling and upskilling the employees to better leverage technology in today’s age of digital disruption.

Photo / iStock